# Magnetic Chess: A Different Way of Playing

Sep 23
21:17

2009

John Skelly

If you like to play chess and want to play a different variation, consider playing magnetic chess.

The magnetic variant of chess was invented by Jao Pedro Neto and Claude Chaunier in 1996, making it relatively new in the long history of the game. It has its own rules that vary slightly from the regular rules. The FIDE rules apply and there is no checking of the King, no stalemates, and no checkmates. There is also no en-passant rule. Castling is still allowed, and a white pawn in the 1st or 2nd rank, or the 7th or 8th rank can move 2 squares ahead even if it has been played before.

The objective of the game is to physically capture the king as you would any other king. Once you have done that, you have won the game.

Each piece in the set has a positive or negative ‘charge’ that allows them to generate a magnetic field. The pieces that have a positive charge are on the white side, and the pieces that have a negative charge are on the black side. The only exception to this rule is the kings, which have a neutral charge, and are neither repelled nor attracted, nor do they repel or attract others.

When a player moves a piece to an occupied space, the closest chess pieces in the same column and off the same rank are repelled. They will not be repelled if they are diagonally placed from the chess piece. If the piece closest to the chess piece is on the other side and of the other color, they will be attracted to the piece.

The king, because it is neutral, neither attracts nor repels nor is attracted or repelled by any other piece. It can also be used as a buffer because it creates a ‘shield’ in the magnetic field. This leads to a multitude of new strategies that don’t apply in the normal game.

Magnetic chess is more than a game in chess strategy and mathematics because it incorporates aspects of physics as well. It forces a player to strategize on yet another platform and challenges them to use a different part of their brain to think in a different way.

There are even variants of this particular variant of chess, such as anti-magnetic chess, where the same rules as above apply with the exception that the enemy pieces are repelled like the friend pieces, and no position can be repeated.

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